The coordinated attack happened a few hours ago.
A bunch of Bitcoin scammers managed to hack verified accounts of some Twitter users that included Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Barack Obama, and even Kanye West. The large-scale attack also targeted tech accounts from Apple and Uber.
The hacked accounts tweeted a similar phrase: “I am doubling all payments sent to my BTC address for the next 30 minutes. You send $1,000, I send you back $2,000.” This is followed by a Bitcoin address where users can ‘donate’.
Of course, this is clearly a scam – but we don’t know how many users were duped into sending money to the Bitcoin address. Considering that Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, there is no way to trace where the money is sent or who will be receiving it. CNET reports that a spot check on the Bitcoin address where the supposed donation managed to collect around 12.30776555 BTC which equals to around $113,572.
The tweet appeared for a couple of minutes before vanishing but some users said it was reappearing for a short period. Twitter Support confirmed the attack saying that it targeted employees who have access to internal systems and tools. The attack also puts Twitter in a bad light with users highlighting concerns on how the social media network is protecting their accounts.
We detected what we believe to be a coordinated social engineering attack by people who successfully targeted some of our employees with access to internal systems and tools.
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) July 16, 2020
As a preventive measure, Twitter suspended tweeting on some verified accounts. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey also acknowledged the attack, promising that it is investigating the incident. At the moment, it looks like Twitter services are restored and have resumed normal operations.
Tough day for us at Twitter. We all feel terrible this happened.
We’re diagnosing and will share everything we can when we have a more complete understanding of exactly what happened.
💙 to our teammates working hard to make this right.
— jack (@jack) July 16, 2020
This led to #hacked and #twitterhacked as the current trending topics in the past few hours.